Flight Sergeant George Atkinson FOSTER

Service No: 407418
Born: Port Pirie SA, 2 February 1921
Enlisted in the RAAF: 12 October 1940
Unit: No. 11 Squadron (RAF), Feni, Bangladesh
Died: Air Operations (No. 11 Squadron Blenheim aircraft Z7648), Myanmar, 5 April 1943, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Taukkyan War Cemetery, Myanmar
CWGC Additional Information: Son of George Edwin and Susan Foster, of Unley, South Australia
Roll of Honour: Unley SA
Remembered: Panel 122, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

On 5 April 1943, Squadron Leader Mathieson was flying Blenheim Z9667 in No 7 position in a formation of nine Blenheims, detailed to bomb the aerodrome at Meiktila, Burma. The formation was flying at about 15,000 feet, and the formation had made two runs over the town which bore some resemblance to Meiktila, and Squadron Leader Mathieson was moving to starboard for a third run, when his gunner cried out “look out”, and immediately after there was a collision with No 5 aircraft in the formation. (Z7648). Squadron Leader Mathieson ordered bale out but received no reply.

For some time there was a fire in the cockpit, and the aircraft remained locked together. As soon as the planes broke free and the fire subsided, Squadron Leader Mathieson escaped through the front hatch, the aircraft then being in an inverted spin and minus the rear portion of the fuselage. The bombs detonated when Z9667 hit the ground. The aircraft crashed at about 1600 hours at a location south of Tarma and 13 kms east south east of Meiktila.

The crew members of Z7648 were:

Warrant Officer David Thomas Andrew (400247) (Wireless Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Harvey Besley MM (402942) (Pilot) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 15 November 1945
Flight Sergeant George Atkinson Foster (407418) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)

The crew members of Z9667 were:

Flying Officer Edward Francis Appleton (400067) (Navigator Bomb Aimer)
Squadron Leader William Ronald Matheson (406253) (Pilot) PoW, Discharged from the RAAF: 30 November 1945
Flight Sergeant Thomas Joseph Wixted (404225) (Wireless Air Gunner)

Warrant Officer Besley reported in 1945 “I baled out at 10,000 feet and saw the aircraft crash and explode. The two aircraft were locked together in flames, spun and fell to pieces. I also saw another chute at about 1,000 feet and then it disappeared in cloud. I landed about one mile from the crash and was captured two hours later. Squadron Leader Matheson a member of the other aircraft was brought in later the same evening. The Japanese said that four bodies had been found and buried.”


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 166/14/36

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